Ok- I managed to succumb to indiscretion and bought the rest of the “C.R.” cartes-de-visite. If you’re new to my blog, I posted earlier about this set of cartes-de-visite a “C.R.” purchased and collected during what I assume was his (not hers) journeys across Europe during and after the US Civil War. It’s a fascinating travelogue spanning three countries and twenty-one years. Two of the images in this second set are in fact photo reproductions of sketches. Given the dates and locations of the earliest ones in the set, one can’t help but wonder if “C.R.” was a Union or Confederate supporter, perhaps even a Confederate agent sent to the U.K. to try and purchase arms and ships for the Confederacy. Or was “C.R.” just a Northern businessperson whose work frequently took him to England, Scotland, France, Italy and Germany (there were one or two more in the set that I was unable to acquire that showed German churches) and had a soft spot for ecclesiastical architecture?
The oldest one in the complete set of nine CDVs dates from July 1864, and the last one is May 1885. Here’s the complete set, in chronological order.
It’s been a while since I added anything here, because I’ve been insanely busy dealing with a whole bunch of personal business (breaking up, evicting my ex, cleaning up the aftermath, starting dating again, reconfiguring my office, building a new home wireless network since the ex took the wireless router, getting nasty bronchitis, recovering from said bronchitis, etc etc you know…). I haven’t had a lot of time for collecting or thinking about it as a result. Well, the dust has settled and I’ve been casually acquiring an odd and end here and there, so I’m back to writing about it again.
One of the things that has interested me, and helped drive me into this whole civil war period image collecting thing, is my hometown – Chambersburg, PA. Chambersburg was perhaps the most trampled ground north of the Mason Dixon line during the Civil War. Prior to the war, John Brown planned his raid on Harpers’ Ferry while living there, and met with Frederick Douglass to discuss the plans (Douglass advised against attacking the federal arsenal). Jeb Stuart’s cavalry raided it for the first time in 1862. Then Lee’s troops passed through on their way to Gettysburg in ’63, and in 1864 General McCausland’s troops demanded a ransom of $500,000 in US currency or $100,000 in gold, which the town refused to pay, so it was put to the torch.
In digging around on Ebay, I found an image of a man who was born a few towns over from Chambersburg. That got me thinking about the old hometown, and I started searching for Chambersburg related stuff. I acquired a group of photos spanning a good 20+ years of work from a single studio, which in further searching on Ebay seems to have been the most prominent if not the only studio in town at the time.
Here is the image that got me thinking about Chambersburg, a photo of David Eiker, born in Quincy, Pennsylvania. Quincy is a tiny one-stoplight town a few miles east of Chambersburg. This photo was taken at the J. Goldin studio in Washington DC.
Acquired at the same time was a more-or-less unrelated photo of a Mr. R.K. Hopkinson, taken at the Henry Ulke & Bro. studio in Washington DC. The common thread was the Washington, DC studio. Mr. R.K. Hopkinson Served in Company D of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery during the civil war.